'school lunches' on Serious Eats

Domino's Moving into Schools with 'Smart Slice'

Speaking of pizza and health, it seems that Domino's is "striving to be a part of the solution when it comes to promoting healthy, active lifestyles for young people — highlighted by the launch of its Domino's Smart Slice school lunch pizza." Smart Slice is "a white whole-wheat, reduced-fat and reduced-sodium pizza, which is baked fresh and delivered to schools." It's already being served in more than 120 school districts. More

'Lunch Line Redesign' Helps Examine our Food Choices

I love infographics. Nothing excites me more than seeing real facts about the world manifested in easy to understand, interactive pictorial representation. (Nerdy? You betcha.) So when I came across 'Lunch Line Redesign," a piece in the New York Times last week by Brian Wansink, David R. Just, and Joe McKendry, I couldn't help but e-mail it to several friends and family members. First and foremost it makes recommendations for improving school lunch lines. Some tips shift food placement—moving broccoli to the front of the line, for example, increases student purchase of broccoli by 10 to 15 percent. Other tips are slightly "sneakier." More

School Lunch in Australia

We don't have set lunches or cafeteria's over here. We have canteens, which mean that kids buy what they want off the menus each day. You can also do "lunch orders" (normally only in primary school), where you or your parents write exactly what you want on a brown paper bag and it's then delivered back to your classroom just before lunch.... More

School Lunch in Puerto Rico

These days they serve them lots of "comida criolla," or local fare such as rice and beans, lasagnas, pepper steak, and even "pastelones," which are Puerto Rican casseroles made sometimes from sweet fried plantains or mashed potatoes. They also offer lighter fare, such as sandwiches, wraps, or even hot dogs, if that's considered light. There are some salads, but if the kids say they will not eat them, they will not give salad to them—as if kids really know what's best for them! More

Weekend Cook and Tell Round Up: School Lunches Reimagined

For last week's Weekend Cook and Tell we asked you to revisit the meals that you were served while in school. For most of you these school lunches didn't bring back the fondest of memories and weren't anything you'd care to repeat. So for this week's round up we'll share some of your most fond and frightful cafeteria memories along with a few reimagined versions of elementary school fare. More

Teacher Blogs About School Lunches

A "balanced meal": "Pepperoni pizza, milk, baby carrots, apple mini-crisps, fruit cup." [Fed Up] We all know that most public school lunches are terrible, but it's hard to remember just how terrible until you're looking down at the plastic-wrapped tray. An anonymous American schoolteacher is spending 2010 eating her cafeteria's lunches every day, and blogging about it on "Fed Up: School Lunch Project." So far: partially frozen fruit cups, broccoli in sugary "secret sauce," and chicken nuggets with a muffin side. Yikes.... More

Serious Green: Upgrading School Lunch

[Photograph ©iStockphoto.com/apomares] School lunch in the district where I attended K-12 was, frankly, disgusting. I was lucky enough to come from a home where there was enough money and time for me to have a home-packed lunch every day. There were plenty of kids who loved the square sausage pizza and hermetically sealed PBJs, but I'm sure there were also plenty who would have gladly eaten something else had they not been on the free-lunch program. Now, it's pretty clear that no matter if my classmates liked it or not, they shouldn't have been eating the food the school was dishing up. Schools send a message to children with the foods that are served. The additives, preservatives, and sugar... More

Congress May Update School Lunch Nutritional Standards

President Barack Obama has proposed a $1-billion increase for the Child Nutrition Act, which lawmakers will consider this fall, according to the Los Angeles Times. The bill would allow the Department of Agriculture to update decades-old standards for vending machines, as well as the typical pizza and French fries sold in cafeterias.... More

How School Cafeteria Lunches Differ Around the World

Photograph from erinlanigan on Flickr Cafeteria lunches are almost universally horrible. In elementary school, I went home sick a few times after "Breakfast for Lunch" day. In high school, the only non-fried options were wilted salads and half-baked cookies. I am certainly not alone in having traumatic school cafeteria memories. The blog School Lunch Talk has been investigating how other countries feed their children. In French schools, lunchtime is a time to teach students healthful eating habits. A recent lunch consisted of Basque chicken thigh with herbs, red and green bell peppers and olive oil, organic yogurt and an apple. Most interestingly, the meals only cost 6.17 euro per student, but the families pay for, at most, about half... More

Alice Waters Proposes New School Lunch Program

Photograph from bookgrl on Flickr In November, locavore food activist Alice Waters wrote an open letter to the Obama family, urging them to chose a progressive White House chef that would prioritize health and environmentalism. She also slipped in a line about her continued dream of a White House veggie garden. Now, in a New York Times op-ed piece, she's asking the current administration to reassess the National School Lunch Program, launched in 1946: We need to scrap the current system and start from scratch. Washington needs to give schools enough money to cook and serve unprocessed foods that are produced without pesticides or chemical fertilizers. When possible, these foods should be locally grown.How much would it cost to... More

Celebrate National School Lunch Week

Honor thy lunch lady. Photograph from ricko on Flickr Despite the stomach-churning memories you might have of elementary school lunches, The Healthy School Lunch Campaign is around to make sure that mystery meat is healthy, safe, and hopefully edible. The organization formed in 1946 as a response to Harry Truman signing the National School Lunch Act. They've decided this week is National School Lunch Week, which means anthropomorphized mascots like Petunia Pita Pocket and Gloria Grilled Cheese, but also means awareness about what goes onto the little munchkins' plastic trays. (I'll always remember the pizza served in rectangular boxes.) What's your favorite school lunch or lunch lady memory? Bonus: After the jump, an ode to the lunch lady, which... More

Alice Waters on Honest Family Food Values: Is It Up to All of Us?

In advance of her appearance at the New York Wine & Food Festival October 12 (tickets are still available) on a panel called Beyond Chicken Nuggets: How to Raise a Healthy Eater, Alice Waters did a Q&A with the New York Times' Tara Parker-Pope. Waters broke no new ground in the interview, but if you've never heard Alice on the subject, it's worth checking out. She championed her Edible Schoolyard initiative in her beloved Berkeley, California, and stressed the value of families cooking and eating together. Waters and her fellow panelists are going to talk about how parents can improve the quality of food their children eat. Here are Waters' suggestions: "Bring kids into a whole relationship with food that’s... More

The Most Disgusting School Lunches

Think your school lunches growing up were pretty bad? Check out these questionably edible school lunches from Harrison City Public Schools in Virginia, then decide. Such nutritional delights as Italian Dunkers, Chicken Fryz, and Taco Patties will make your eyes and stomachs bleed. View more of the lunches if you think you can handle it. Some of my favorites are the Taco Tub and the Ham and Cheese Pita. What were your most disgusting school lunches growing up?... More

Cooking With Kids: School Lunch Revolution

“I am not a big fan of salad,” one student said. “I don’t really like them. But the Chinese chicken salad they had here, it had good dressing, it had crunchy noodles, it had good chicken in it and carrots, and it was just an overall pleasant experience.” This sounds better than my average lunch. More

Cooking With Kids: School Lunches

Hello there, children! | Photograph from iStockPhoto.com Concerned chefs and food writers agree: American school lunches suck. Reform programs such as Alice Waters's Edible Schoolyard have sprung up at every grade level from kindergarten to college. Deborah Madison recently took a trip to France and observed schoolchildren choosing between two salads, mâche with roast duck and fava beans or mâche with salmon and asparagus. Meanwhile, Ann Cooper's book Lunch Lessons surveys the depressing fast-food landscape of the average American school and offers some ideas for fixing up your school's lunch program.... More

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